'Equal compensation not possible'

Addressing reporters here on Tuesday, Nanavati said that the compensation will vary depending on the number of dependants of the victims. “The income of the deceased, coupled with number of dependants on that income is important but at the same time not the only factor in determining the amount of compensation,” he said and added that the Montral Convention only provides that for damages assessed, which work out to a figure upto Rs 70 lakh or less, the airline is liable to pay such assessed figure irrespective of fault. However, if the amount of compensation assessed exceeds Rs 70 lakh, the airline has the right to take up the defense that it would not be liable to pay anything in excess of the said figure of Rs 70 lakh, if it can prove that it was not negligent or guilty of any wrongful act,” Nanavati said.

The question of negligence thus assumes relevance only in regard to cases where the proven damages exceeds Rs 70 lakh. Still, the airline is willing to settle all claims on ‘proof of loss basis’, which is an exercise essentially to place the family members in the same position as they would have been in, had the deceased not died in the accident, irrespective of quantum.

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